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Anyone else not even started Christmas shopping yet?

(54 Posts)
Dumbledoresgirl Tue 08-Dec-15 19:11:41

Or am I the only one?

I don't know, I just can't get started. Over recent years, Christmas has become more and more of a chore and less and less enjoyable to the point where, this year, I genuinely don't care if it doesn't happen. sad

I really don't know what to buy anyone, I don't have anything I want myself, or at least, don't know what there is out there to want iyswim.

Every year, it gets more and more difficult to get the kids to come up with a list and if ever I go out on a limb and buy them something they have not asked for, it is invariably a disaster. For years now, I not only have to buy things for me and dh to give, I also have to buy for the children to give each other, for my elderly parents to give to the children, even sometimes for other family members to give to the children. I wrap everything, I cook everything, I have to organise everything.

I truly don't want to do it anymore.

But I have to, for the children, right?

Thumbcat Tue 08-Dec-15 20:27:01

It won't help you this year, but for next year you should definitely start earlier. I used to feel how you do now and would spend the couple of weeks before Christmas in a panic and hating every second. I now get it done at a more leisurely pace in October and November and its transformed Christmas for me.

How old are your kids? If they're getting hard to buy for just get them less stuff.

Don't buy stuff for the children to give each other. The world won't end.

Do the wrapping with a large glass of something and get DH to be in charge of the sellotape. I hate sellotape - bastard stuff.

Do as low effort a meal as you can. I bought frozen sprouts last year and no-one noticed.

Dumbledoresgirl Tue 08-Dec-15 20:38:28

Thanks for responding. I can't believe I am the only one feeling the way I do but I guess others are avoiding the Christmas threads.

The children are all teens. And yes, I am buying less this year. Not doing stockings for the older two and turning one of their presents into one or two essential items that would otherwise have gone into the stockings ie pants/socks/that sort of thing. If they can't come up with any other ideas, they are obviously not going to mind pants and socks, right?

It isn't so much the presents I have to give. I have thought of a few, easy to find ideas for wider family, and can usually find something, however boring, that dh could do with. It is all the buying for other people to give that gets me down.

And yes to the food, I am going for easy options this year, although I was quite organised and made my Christmas cake and pudding (neither of which my family like or eat, but the guests will) weeks ago.

Thumbcat Tue 08-Dec-15 22:14:25

If the children are teens then just ask people to get them gift cards - Amazon, cinema etc. Easier for them or you to get.

Good luck with it - it'll be the New Year before you know it fwink

revealall Tue 08-Dec-15 22:26:44

I don't think you're alone. It's such a pressurised nonsense in many ways.

Do you think your teens have picked up on your stress and have tried to minimise it? I would try and make an effort just with theirs. Everyone else can go hang ( Ho Ho Ho).

My Christmas misery turned around when I went to Europe a few days before Christmas. So nice ( and novel) to be in a beautifully decorated Christmas city but not to spend every five minutes running into town to buy those forgotten essentials, or a few more of this and that etc etc. No masses, queues for car parks and tills. It still feels really special in France,Italy and Spain. Bliss.

Davros Tue 08-Dec-15 22:34:34

I haven't started yet, not because u feel like you do, just been too busy and complacent! I don't blame you from what you say, any chance of going away next year if not this year?

LongHardStare Tue 08-Dec-15 22:48:54

How about just passing on cash from your parents / family members? If they would prefer the kids to get actual stuff they will have to sort it out. Even your elderly parents could specify what they want to give rather than leaving it to you. If you have DC who are too young for cash it can go in their savings account or they can have book tokens. Children should be sorting their presents for eachother! Take them to tiger and instruct them to get on with it. Or if they are too young for that, homemade presents for eachother.

jamtartandcustard Wed 09-Dec-15 06:20:47

If your children are teens why on earth are you buying and wrapping presents for them to give to each other? Surely they are old enough to do that themselves? My 11 year old does.
And as for buying presents from elderly parents and other relatives, just give them the cash. They are old enough to appreciate the money especially if they don't really know what they want anyway.
I honestly think the best thing you can start doing is delegating and stop taking it all on yourself! And make food easier too, buy all ready prepared, and maybe next year put a little aside each month then go out for Xmas dinner instead? Yes it is pricey but you need to relax and enjoy Christmas as well

BitOutOfPractice Wed 09-Dec-15 06:54:09

Yes why are you buying presents for the kids to give to each other. My two enjoy doing that themselves.

Also, why is it all down to you? What's your DH doing.

And yy to telling relatives to get the kids Amazon/ iTunes / whatever vouchers.

Be firm. Stop doing it all.

daisydalrymple Wed 09-Dec-15 06:57:50

Hi dumbledoresgirl, I generally LOVE Christmas, but have certainly been feeling the over commercialism of it this year. It has crossed my mind that you could actually just spend a couple of hours in asda and do the lot. Start with the rack of very varied gift cards for different stores and online stuff, including iTunes, cinemas etc. bottles of fizz, wine or the alcohol gifts, chocolates, Christmas gift aisle, books, home section for festive candles, cosy throws etc, DVDs/ CDs for box sets and compilations and clothes for pyjamas, socks, slippers . All the lovely cards, tags and gift wrap you need.

I've been online shopping in dribs and drabs, and the same with picking items up in town since October, to try and spread the cost, but I really think it would be less stressful and more enjoyable to do it in one bigger swoop. My children are younger (8,6&1), so I do have to allow for the learnt December changes of mind, but im putting more money aside from January onwards and plan to make it my new tradition to simplify life, do one big online shop in one go one evening, with a nice festive glass of fizz (because surely ds2 will have stopped bf by next christmas...) and top that up with one planned and organised day at the shops.

I think sometimes we waste time worrying to find the perfect gifts, that it takes away from whatever the true meaning of Christmas is to us as individuals.

wannabestressfree Wed 09-Dec-15 07:02:38

Tell them if they want to get gifts you are going at the weekend and they will need to come and do their shopping.
Make a list and be methodical. I love Christmas but I work from a book and start in september smile
Stockings are easy - there are six children to do for here and my partner - I stuff with pants, star wars socks, chocolate orange , razors etc. Job done. They also get a couple under the tree and one big one from father christmas smile

chickindude Wed 09-Dec-15 07:11:24

Op you are not alone. I feel just the same.
I buy everything, shop for everything and pay for everything. DS (17) asked why the Decs weren't up yet.
I work full time, & am also on a very intensive course for work too. That I have to do in my spare (Ha Ha) time.
I have 4 kids & a husband who on the day will expect a perfectly cooked meal & lots of things to unwrap.
Bollocks to it I say. I am on strike!!!!

lavendersun Wed 09-Dec-15 07:16:06

Started and finished in the last few days apart from a couple of things I ordered in the October sales.

Christmas 'giving' leaves me cold tbh, apart from DD & DH and one special friend. I do it because it is expected, that is all. Sounds very humbug written down but I don't really enjoy it at all.

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 09-Dec-15 09:04:40

Chickindude - Hello! I recognise a sister-in-arms in what you posted.

Thank you everyone for posting.

Yes, the children should be doing their own thing now. My dd does a little. She can sometimes have an idea for a sibling. And of course, they wrap their gifts - sorry, that was me being a bit dramatic saying I do it all.

The key point made here, imo, is where is dh in all this. I kid you not, I have just been interrupted by him ringing me up to ask me to pay for something he has ordered to be sent to his brother (in Australia). He is taking Thurs and Fri off work this week and when I said we would start by spending the whole of Thurs Christmas shopping, his response was 'oh, can't I have a little rest first before we start?' At which point, I went mad and this thread was started. angry To give him his dues, he works incredibly hard at a very time consuming job, but he has also spent a lot of the weekends leading up to now playing social and competitive tennis. He never really understands the amount of work that goes into making Christmas.

FinallyHere Wed 09-Dec-15 10:03:46

He never rely understands the amount of work that goes into Christmas
**
If ever there was a time to have a family meeting to discuss and agree the way forward on what are we going to do for Christmas this year, it might be now. If your family have come to think of Christmas as a production put in for their behalf,the sooner they come to realise what it is all about, the better.

There was a lovely explanation on here, about how to tell children about Santa, that went something like when they are old enough to know its 'just' other people, we eep the secret from younger siblings and let those that know join because giving can be even better that receiving at Christmas.

Time to spread the giving and receiving more evenly around the family, so they can discover that It is fun to do both. I came to this pretty late myself, having a mother and sister who are brilliant at doing and choosing things, so for ages let them take the lead and felt they did is so much better than me. Now i do my share and am very satisfied with my contribution and much happier with the whole thing.

Hope you find a balance that works for you all. Finally [sic] xx

P.s. Cash/itunes/amazon vouchers perfect for anyone old enough to use them. We get around the 'we know what we a getting' by wrapping things exquisitely. Its fun and effort enough, much better than tearing round shops to but stuff that isnt wnated or needed.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 09-Dec-15 11:41:52

Stop giving him his dues. He doesn't deserve any. He behaves like a child. I'm sure he wouldn't ask for a "little rest" at work when his boss asks him to do something. Sorry it makes my bloody boil - a perfectly capable adult who chooses to has no conception of how the adult world works. How these men-children ever get laid is a mystery to me. This helplessness shit is the biggest turn off ever surely.

Sorry I have just been to see a (male) friend who is dealing with the most devastating and earth shatteringly awful news for his family and he is managing to keep it together and organise household stuff . Yet some men can't even manage to buy their own parents a gift in the easiest of circumstances. Grr! He needs a giant kick up the arse. And you need to stop enanbling him

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 09-Dec-15 13:39:43

Finally - that is food for thought, thank you.

Bit - I couldn't agree with you more. We have been having a tough time lately - it has been stone cold in the marriage lately and I am going through the menopause and absolutely hell to live with (I can see it, those are not his words) - but recently things have warmed up a bit, he has let his love show through a bit, I have put a cap on my carping and shown a slightly vulnerable side (not me at all usually)....

BUT when he said that bit about 'having a rest', well, I was so shocked by the ridiculousness of the statement, and so unimpressed, the full flow of my derision came pouring out. I think he got the message though.

There is so much going on here. Not just a lazy unengaged bunch of teens, a child-man for a husband and a woman who takes on everything and then moans self-pityingly about it. There is also a bereavement for Christmases past, a sadness that children have grown up, that parents are infirm, even that religious belief has been lost.

I went to my Italian class today. For homework, the teacher told us to write 10 words describing what Christmas means to us. I am sitting here thinking 'work' 'stress' turkey (needing cooking) boredom, loneliness, crowded shops, constant watching of the family income for months after the event - I wonder if there is an easy Italian word for that?!

BitOutOfPractice Wed 09-Dec-15 14:14:19

What's italian for "complete fucking nightmare?" wink

I really do think you need to get to grips with this. Start a fresh Christmas slate. Think about what you want YOUR Christmas day to look like and make it happen. Drag the rest behind you if you must.

eg. eat breakfast in bed, eat chilli for lunch, watch a film, go for a walk. And do it.

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 09-Dec-15 15:07:19

I like the idea but I am hosting wider family get together this year.

Now confined to bathroom with upset stomach. sad Can't work out whether it is stress or the ABs I am taking for an infection.

Gawd, doncha just love this time of year? Thanks for chatting anyway.

Dumbledoresgirl Wed 09-Dec-15 15:37:08

And I really could not make this up if I tried. No sooner had I left the bathroom, then dh walked in to the house. He has left work early as he has manflu! Actually, he must be feeling bad because he works through anything (and, where he works, he is the boss, in late response to the question about would he say this to his boss).

I cannot believe his timing! I have told him, if he is too ill to go shopping with me tomorrow, I will lie in bed with him and we will buy everything online.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 09-Dec-15 22:12:57

Ok, he wouldn't say it to a client. You knew what I meant. Sounds like he's got round you.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 09-Dec-15 22:14:18

And fwiw I also run a business, SBD a household, and two kids, alone. And I manage to do the Christmas shopping. You know, like a grown up. Just like he should

Leeds2 Wed 09-Dec-15 22:18:43

Buy it all online anyway. It really is much easier!

Pay to have it wrapped and, if that service is not available, make sure you have a sellotape dispenser! They are worth their weight in gold.

thesandwich Wed 09-Dec-15 22:19:17

On line is fab. Stay in bed and do it! Sounds like you both need it!!

goingmadinthecountry Wed 09-Dec-15 22:25:24

I haven't really started - bought 1 thing from Amazon. I am, however, not remotely panicking. It's December 9th. Not Christmas yet. Everything will be sorted, bought, beautifully wrapped etc in good enough time. I just cannot see the joy in starting planning for Christmas in September. Mad! I have 4 children and none will miss out. Mind you, none of them will get mindless Christmas tat either. I love the excitement nearer to the day with all the dull old boring stuff done online.

I do agree that wrapping is best done with a large glass in hand.

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